Monday, September 8, 2014

enough water

Saturday I went to Fuentes Georginas with the directors of my school.  To get there, we took a bus from Xela to Zunil.  Once we got off the bus, we hopped into the back of a Toyota pickup.  The Toyota pickups here are a bit modified.  They have some bars around the outside and down the center of the back so passengers can lean against them, or stand and hang on.  The drive was about five miles up the mountain past many fields.  We stood so we could get a better view of things.  We got off the truck at Fuentes Georginas, a place to enjoy the hot springs.  After getting my fill of sitting in hot water, we headed down the mountain.  It felt like we were walking through the clouds.  A nice peaceful walk where I could see the fields and there wasn´t much noise.  As we descended the mountain, it got cooler and at times quite foggy.  We had walked about an hour when it started to sprinkle, then rain.  We caught a ride on another Toyota pickup to speed our return to Zunil.  After just a few minutes, the driver stopped.  I wondered what was going on.  He proceeded to pull out a big piece of black plastic like you might find on the farm and handed it to us.  We held on to the plastic and used it to keep most of the rain off of us until we got back to Zunil.  Then we walked a bit more in the rain to get on the bus to return to Xela.  A good way to spend the morning, made more memorable by getting soaked.  I did tell the director I had enough water for the day. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Testament

If you have never read anything by John Grisham, I suggest his book The Testament.  It is the second time I read the book, and it was just as good or better the second time.  The story revolves around the heirs of billionaire Troy Phelen, including a daughter who is a missionary in South America, whom the children never knew.   Grisham is an excellent story teller with likable, realistic characters.  It would be a good book for a book club to read and discuss.

Monday, September 1, 2014

hiking

On Saturday, our school activity was hiking in the mountains.  Quetzaltenango is surrounded by mountains.  We walked out of the city, then into the country.  We saw lots of small fields with vegetables like corn, brocoli, and leeks.  It felt good to get out of the city.  We walked  to a nearby town, Almolonga, saw the market there, then returned to Xela via chicken bus.  The music on the chicken bus made me laugh, as it was the song Red, Red Wine by UB40.    

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School

Yesterday was my first day of school.  This year is going to be so different than previous years because learning more Spanish is much different than teaching children English.  I spent much of my morning talking with my teacher in Spanish.  It is challenging, because I know what I want to say, but my vocabulary is so limited in my second language.  I also know how to speak in the present tense, not in the future or past. When my teacher was talking to me, sometimes I didn´t understand what she was saying because of my limited vocabulary.  Besides learning a lot of Spanish, I think I am going to gain much empathy for my students as well.  While a student here, there will be multiple opportunites to take field trips, too.  My first excursion was a walking tour of the things nearby with one of the directors of the school.  She showed me good places to get pizza and hot chocolate, as well as a big market I might frequent if I need something.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Healing Quilt

The Healing Quilt is Wanda Brunstetter's latest book in her Amish quilting series.  In this book, Emma is now married to Lamar and the two have moved to Florida.  Emma decides to teach another quilting class.  Once again, she has a diverse group of students who learn much about quilting and life.  Characters from The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club and The Tattered Quilt are part of this new book, but the story also makes sense without having read them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

vacation

I went on a two week vacation with my dad.  We drove a lot of miles (over 5500) and saw more than I expected.  Some places we saw include Mount Rushmore, eight different national parks, a couple of quilt/sewing shops, the ocean, Bakersfield, and lots of cattle and farms.  We visited some family and a couple of my friends, too.
Here are pictures of a few highlights...
Rocky Mountain National Park
Mesa Verde National Park


Grand Canyon


beach at Morro Bay
mission in San Luis Obispo

Zion National Park

Rainbow Bridge at Bryce Canyon National Park
Morro Bay, California is where we stayed for two days.  My aunt and uncle were there so we spent our time with them.  It was good to see them, and I got to give them quilts (see pictures here and here.  It was also nice to stay in the same place for a bit to catch up/slow down.  I also loved being near the ocean and walking on the beach.  When we left on vacation, I had no idea we would see so many national parks.  Some day I hope to return to both Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.  Both were impressive and worth visiting again.